The eyes almost glaze over when you see a new book on METALLICA, don’t they? Until you think, hold up, I’ve never actually read a book about Metallica, which is probably the case. Like me, you just figure you know it all. Which you do, and I do, and books like this one don’t tell us much new (except, ahem, that someone named James Newsted apparently exists), but their worth lies elsewhere. It lies in the fact that as you whip through this easy-to-read book, you’re taken back to a time of innocence, a time when there was much more excitement and mystique and a sense of the unknown in music, in thrash metal in particular. Daniels’ writing style is definitely British (in other words, he likes his fucking exclamation marks), which can take some getting used to, but his enthusiasm quickly becomes quite enjoyable as he takes the reader on a journey through a familiar tale. Really, he sums it up quite well in the intro when he says, in regards to the band’s classic first four albums, “those albums were as much about youth as anything else.” And in a way, this book is as much about youth as anything else: our youth spent in awe of a rising force called Metallica; the youth of the band themselves; the youth of thrash metal. This book focuses on the band’s first four discs (I love the track-by-track rundown of each), the impact that the NWOBHM had on the band, and the influence the band in turn gave to other metal bands. An easy, breezy read whose worth lies in the atmosphere the stories give more than any newfound knowledge to be plucked off the pages.